From crutches to triathlon

I don’t have the words to express how much studying at CNM has changed my life

I was a county gymnast at 19 when my knee swelled up. I could only walk with crutches. Over the next 20 years I had six operations, took heavy painkillers, and was often bed-ridden with pain. After the sixth operation my consultant said, “No more operations, I’m referring you to the rheumatology clinic.”

Prescribed a cocktail of powerful anti-inflammatories, which, despite making me feel very unwell, brought down the swelling dramatically, meant I could dispense with crutches, though I was still in pain. I was told I would be taking anti-inflammatories for life, so I began to investigate natural alternatives.

When I explained to the rheumatologist the natural changes I was making, he was unimpressed. I told him I had challenged myself to do a triathlon in two years’ time, to which he replied, “No chance.”

But my body increasingly began to wake up again. Two years later, at the age of 46, I successfully completed my first triathlon.

I am now 50. It has been six years since I have taken any medication. My knee is fine, I am pain-free and enjoy more mobility than when I was a teenager. The only reason I haven’t done more triathlons is because I have been studying for three diplomas at CNM — nutrition, naturopathy, and herbal medicine.

I learned amazing facts at CNM which really helped my health. It turned out my blood had no rheumatoid factor markers, so rheumatoid arthritis was never the problem.

Studying for three diplomas and working full time was tough, but everyone at CNM helped me. As a naturopath I now have three clinics offering my clients complete wellbeing packages. I know the importance of giving the body what it needs for healing and returning to balance and inspiring people to make positive change in their lives.

Become a nutritional therapist with the College of Naturopathic Medicine. Study in class or online. CNM has a 20-year track record training successful health practitioners. Attend the next free CNM open event in Galway. Call 01 878 8060 or book online at


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